With all the sorrows and miseries accompanying last week's floodings in middle Tennessee, there was the additional sad story of the flooding of the Grand Ole Opry building. Of course, no mere waters were able to stop the historic Friday and Saturday night performances. When the current or "new" Opry building cannot be used, the show moves back to the Mother Church of Country Music, generally known as the Ryman Auditorium.
Of major concern was the historic round portion of the Opry stage that came from the old building. This was the portion of the stage where Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, Johnny Cash and a host of other country singers stood when they performed on the Opry stage during the Golden Years of Country Music.
If we were Medievals, we would all believe that merely viewing that portion of the Opry stage would shave off 500 to 1000 years of listening to rancous rock or elevator music in music Purgatory.
But Luther, that pioneer who saw the connection between the bar songs and hymns, helped push the Medieval world past the errors of that age and into the Reformation. And, the Reformation ultimately reached the British Isles, including Scotland where the deeply ingrained old tunes were preserved in the heritage of those folks. From there, the music skipped across the ocean to the Appalachians until such time as the Bristol Recording sessions, featuring the Carter Family and Jimmy Rogers, made the music universal. (Yes, I am saying that the Reformation led to the development of Country Music. In some future blog, I will highlight the writings of yet another founding father of Country Music, the poet John Donne.)
At any rate, the historic portion of the Opry floor has been rescued. Seats, walls, facilities, and the other things can be replaced, but that portion of wood was special. It is hard to see from the picture how it was rescued; nevertheless, singers will be able--in time--to stand where the legends stood.